2017 was an eventful year at Uniper. We modified our organizational setup and refined our strategy. In short, we set our course for the future. Throughout this process, we worked closely with everyone who makes Uniper what it is: our employees, shareholders, investors, suppliers, and business partners. All of them are crucial to our success. For them—and also for policymakers, the media and the general public—we strive to be a reliable and transparent partner.
The energy world is changing. Renewables are essential for reducing global carbon emissions and limiting climate change. But renewables production fluctuates, and the options currently available for storing renewable energy are limited. Uniper will play an important role in meeting these challenges: our highly flexible and efficient power plants and our long-term gas contracts and gas storage facilities safeguard the energy supply when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.
Security of supply will become an increasingly urgent issue in the years ahead. Energy demand is growing worldwide. Going forward, gas in particular will play a key role by partnering with renewables to meet the world’s energy demand. These global trends fit with our strategy of focusing on three main growth businesses: provision of tailored solutions for industrial customers, diversification and expansion of our global trading presence, and participation in the growth of new energy markets.
We believe that our business activities can help tackle global challenges such as access to energy, climate change, human rights protection, and support for innovation and infrastructure development. For this reason, we promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals as an important framework for measuring progress.
As an organization, we are currently working to ensure the long-term resilience of our business by implementing a dedicated Sustainability Strategic Plan. Based on the UN goals, it consists of a set of long-term commitments that guide our activities and our action plans to address key sustainability topics.
In order to improve the situation regarding human rights violations in the coal supply chain, in 2017 we further engaged with the Bettercoal initiative and implemented roundtable dialogues with NGOs.
Of course, we have a responsibility not only toward people but also the environment. In 2017 we continued to reduce air emissions from our plants. Carbon emissions decreased as well. We want to further limit our climate impact while we continue to provide a secure and reliable energy supply.
I’m pleased to present our new Sustainability Report, which follows our first Non-Financial Report published in March of this year. In our Sustainability Report, we describe what corporate responsibility means to us and the progress we’ve made. We hope you find this report useful and informative and that you continue to accompany us on our journey.
About This Report
This is Uniper’s second Sustainability Report. It presents information about our most material sustainability topics, how we manage them, and what we achieved in the reporting period. The reporting period is the 2017 calendar year. Important developments and progress are also updated during the year.
In this report we include Uniper Group subsidiaries, unless otherwise stated, as at the balance-sheet date of December 31, 2017. The scope of consolidation is the same as our 2017 Financial Report. We also disclose our reporting principles as well as all significant changes in Uniper’s size, scope, ownership structure, and supply chain.
Our sustainability reporting is based on recognized standards such as the widely established Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework.